OK, it’s not Laffer’s curve or Pollack’s investment card, but the other day I was having a coffee with someone at the Corner Bakery who argued that the problem with the policy agendas of people like me is that they’re way too complex.
The topic is: “Ways to reduce inequality and generate broadly shared prosperity.” I’ll write it all down here because unlike Art (napkin) or Harold (index card), I didn’t have a white background to write on and I’d hate to see the progressive revolution delayed because some yutz wrote the agenda on a brown bag.
- Full employment!
- Low-income Households: education opportunity, expand EITC, higher min wage, subsidized jobs (direct job creation).
- Middle class: affordable higher education, boost manufacturing through lower trade deficit!
- High end: close wasteful tax loopholes, financial market oversight (fewer bubbles), “financial transaction tax.”
I suppose you could argue there’s more to it. We need politicians committed to reconnecting growth and prosperity, and willing to write the budgets that will support the agenda. That implies a role for reducing the influence of money in politics, which could take up another whole bag. (BTW, the financial transaction tax is a tiny tax on security trades, like 0.03 percent — three one-hundredths of a percent — that would raise significant revenue while dampening unproductive volatile and high-speed trades.)
And another part of the agenda calls for protecting what we’ve got, from social insurance to labor laws to Obamacare.
But I just wanted to point out that there’s no great mystery to pushing back on the great economic disconnect. In fact, it’s in on the bag.